The usual terminology used is ‘B2B’, obviously signifying Business-to-Business. However, the Grecian folk bring to us ‘Book4Book’, an exchange platform for books or, a book barter.
This marketplace is the brainchild of a few Grecians that “seek through technology to enhance the activity of students within a community of citizens acting without the assistance of the State or third parties. The site (Book4Book) is open to those who want to share or ask textbooks, while encouraging and creating appointments (events) mass exchange.” A direct statement from their website, the platform even has tutorial videos for those wanting to sign up.
Personally, we have all been through the tedious patch of locating certain books come Christmas / new school year. While eBay, Amazon and other online book stores are life saviours today, when some of us 90s kids were in school, we would rely on the compassion of a senior’s hand me down or worse case, photocopy the entire book and affix a spiral bind or staple. College life was relatively easier with pirated downloads of eBooks, however Kindles and iPads are at times frowned upon as distraction tools in a ‘conventional classroom’.
So, what Book4Book is attempting to do, is pretty revolutionary. The most prominent book barter system we know in Sri Lanka would route to the Darley Road folk. However, it’s mostly bunch of Francine Pascal (that is now unappreciated!) and Mills and Boon. The chances of locating a bit of Bacon or Hemingway might be quite low. This barter reaches out to primary and high school students to find, match and exchange books of particular interest. Conducted ‘in the spirit of solidarity and environmental awareness’ the project caters to parents seeking to check the new academic year’s schoolbooks or even schools seeking to upgrade their library with new books. Book4Book ultimately strives to create a social network that is driven by the need to promote the recycle and reuse books.
The initiative was a winning project in the ‘Go Green!’ category at the Youth Summit Awards 2013 that recognises young people using the internet and mobile to put United Nations Millennium Development Goals into action.
The Green team presented their vision at the WSA Global Congress held in Sri Lanka recently. The initiative was well received and set the foundation to partnerships with Sri Lanka, India and Mexico.